Students on the quad playing Ultimate Frisbee
Photo of practice courtesy of HWS Ultimate Frisbee

Throughout this fall semester, a strange occurrence could be seen on the Quad at certain times each week. While it may have appeared to be a large-scale discus competition, it is, in actuality, the school’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Now, if someone doesn’t know what Ultimate Frisbee is, they might draw up the sport of Ultimate Football as a comparison, and probably assume that Ultimate Football led to Ultimate Frisbee’s creation. Those people would be wrong, as Ultimate Frisbee was created first, with inspiration from American Football, but Ultimate Frisbee was the first of the Ultimate sports vein.  

But what is Ultimate Frisbee and how does one play it? Essentially, Ultimate Frisbee is a team working together to get a frisbee  caught in the end zone, and after it is caught, the person who caught it is not allowed to move and will throw the frisbee to a teammate who hopes to catch it. The sport has its roots in 1968 when it was created at Amherst College, and while the Seneca Flyers (our HWS team name) do not go back that far in Ultimate Frisbee history, they have been competing against other schools for over a decade. While the team’s social media has not been updated since 2022, that’s due to the team focusing on practicing instead of networking and branding. The main way people heard about the team was from either the Involvement Expo at the start of the year or from their friends who were already on the team. But, if someone shows up for a game just as they are passing by and are interested, they are welcome to give it a shot and join the team for the next few hours.  

The team is composed of about half first-years and half upperclassmen, which is a good sign as it means that the recruiting worked at the start of the year. Those who joined also had a varying amount of experience, ranging from those who had never played before to those who were on their high school team. For those who had never played before, the best way for them to learn was of course going to practices, and that they did, with there always being enough people for a game, giving exceptions to some November practices with bad conditions or it getting dark too early.  

When practices have been in these less than ideal conditions, the contact-free sport has most of its injuries happen. From slipping on wet grass to randomly injuring a shoulder, Ultimate Frisbee still requires levels of safety and awareness that most sports do. The most frequent injury or pain associated with Ultimate Frisbee has to do with leg pain, such as getting shin splints from early on in practices or having a day where someone’s legs just decided to hurt that day.  

Yet, the team prevails and practices will continue to happen, but with this colder weather moving in, the team will start to practice less frequently and inside at the Dome. Eventually, the weather will warm up again though, and with the spring flowers blooming, nature will heal and Ultimate Frisbee players will return to the Quad where they started from.  

John is a member of the class of 2027 and a contributing writer for the Herald.

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